Australian Standards for Safety Eyewear
Summaries of Australian Standards
The Standards most relevant to occupational optometrists are: AS/NZS 1336 (Recommended practices for occupational eye protection), 1337 (Occupational eye protectors), 1337.6 (Prescription eye protectors). AS/NZS 2228.1 (Spectacle lenses) covers general purpose eyewear and is an important resource for both general and occupational optometry. It is highly recommended that optometrists purchase a copy of these Standards. The Standards can be obtained by visiting SAI Global at http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/ or by telephone 131 242 (within Australia). The approximate cost of each Standard is between $50 and $100.
The information below provides a summary of the most relevant Australian Standards.
AS/NZS 1336: Recommended practices in occupational eye protection
This is an informative Standard written in plain English. Section 4 deals with the use of personal eye protectors in industrial settings and gives examples of specific hazards together with recommended eye protection. Section 7 deals with prescription eye protectors. While some of the content is still relevant, minimum performance requirements are now covered in AS/NZS 1337.6. This Standard also covers important topics such as elimination and control of hazards, and places eye safety within the general context of occupational safety. This Standard is compulsory reading for anyone working in the area.
AS/NZS 1337: Occupational eye and face protection
This Standard sets down the requirements for non-prescription eye protection. It provides the basis for the categorisation of eye protection that is needed in following AS/NZS 1336. While it is useful to understand the requirements and tests for eye protectors, it is much less important a standard to optometrists than AS/NZS 1336.
AS/NZS 1337.6: Prescription safety eyewear
AS/NZS 1337.6 sets down the principles that prescription eye protectors must provide against low or medium impact as set out in AS/NZS 1337. They must also meet the same prescription requirements and tolerances as any other prescription spectacle as set out in AS/NZS 2228.1. Where the requirements of the two Standards might conflict, the eye protection requirement applies.
There are four critical elements in compliant prescription eyewear:
- Appropriate frame
- Appropriate lens material and thickness
- Appropriate fitting
- Labelling and assuring compliance
Download the Occupational Optometry Guide for full details on Australian Standards for safety eyewear.
Depending on the types of workplaces and employees screened, optometrists may wish to purchase standards other than those considered most relevant to optometrists. For example, for more information about lighting, AS/NZS 1680 is a useful starting point. The table below lists most of the Australian Standards that are relevant to eye safety in the workplace. Note: Optometrists should look to purchase the latest edition of each Standard. The SAI Global website advises if each Standard is current.
Australian Standards relevant to workplace eye safety